Although originally from Australia, I studied for my undergraduate degree in Ancient History in Germany, after which I went to the University of Manchester to do my doctorate in Classics. From 2007-2011 I was in the Classics department at the University of Edinburgh, first as temporary lecturer, then as Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow. In 2012 I was project manager of the EU project DressID: Clothing and Identities in the Roman Empire based at the Reiss-Engelhorn Museums in Mannheim, Germany, which involved playing a key role in the development of the exhibition Die Macht der Toga. I joined the Open University in October 2012.
My research looks mainly at dress in the Roman Empire - both Rome and the provinces - and the way that clothing and appearance was used to assert and negotiate cultural identities. As the main source for this in the provinces are Roman-style portrait gravestones, I also have an interest in funerary art and epigraphy in general. Related to this work, I am also interested in cultural theory and the way we interpret cultural interaction in the Roman provinces, especially in regions where material culture plays a central role due to a lack of textual sources. I am currently working on a monograph for Bloomsbury Press on the toga.
I am also interested in rural settlement in the Roman Near East, and recently finished an excavation project investigating the remains of a late Roman monastery on Tall Zira’a in north-western Jordan.
I have run or been involved in archaeological fieldwork in Italy, Jordan, the Netherlands and Portugal.
I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students who would like to work in any of the above areas.
My teaching experience is mainly in Roman history and archaeology, but have also taught a wide range of other subjects such as Greek history and Classical art. At the Open University I have helped to write the Roman Empire course (A340) and the new MA in Classical Studies, and I am on the module teams for A863/A864 (the MA in Classical Studies) and the level 1 module A105: Voices, Texts and Material Culture. As Postgraduate Convenor for Classical Studies I look after our subject area's PhD students, and as FASS Deputy Director of Research Degrees I help look after the faculty's PhD students at a higher level as well.
I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
I am a regular blogger and contributor to public fora, such as:
“Prince Philip may well be Caligula’s horse”: blog post, Rogueclassicism
“Exploring Roman dress”: video interview on Classics Confidential
I am also a regular advisor to television programmes broadcast on the BBC and the German channels ARD and ZDF.
I also run a Roman fashion show for schools - please contact me directly if you are interested in this for your school.
I am currently involved in the Dutch project Anchoring Innovation and co-supervise one of the project's PhD students.
I have served as co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Archaeological Textiles Review based at the University of Copenhagen.
I am involved in peer-reviewing project proposals for the European Commission, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Romanian Research Council's Archaeology Section as well as a range of journals and publishers.
|Ancient Material Culture Research Cluster||Cluster||Faculty of Arts|